Rod Stewart - Rarities
So the artist formerly known as Rod Stewart, until recently known as Rod Stewart: The American Songbook, continues his comeback from the very edge of musical purgatory. After a decade of albums of covers - of ever diminishing quality - his first album of original songs for well over a decade, Time, hit the UK album chart top spot earlier this year. And now Rarities arrives to remind people of exactly who Rod Stewart is - and why he’s loved by so many. As the title suggests this is a collection of little heard tracks, covers of Dylan, The Who, and Hendrix amongst others, live versions of some of his hits, and b-sides from his 45s, all from his golden period between 1968 and 1974. As a collection of tracks recorded during his heyday it’s release is good timing if you want to discover, or revisit, classic Rod The Mod.
Whilst the covers are more authentic, unfortunately ‘Pinball Wizard’ is horrible: it sounds like a cross between Last Night Of The Proms and the Black Beauty theme. Faring slightly better is ‘Everytime We Say Goodbye’, a different, kind of country ragtime version of this crooner's standard. The rest of the first disc has loose, fun versions of early Rod tracks, with an early ‘You Wear It Well’ giving you an insight into the creative process, and a great version of ‘I’d Rather Go Blind’. Disc 2 is a much more sedate affair, walking the contemplative side of the line - the side of Rod you don't usually hear. He’s softer, rawer, particularly on ‘(You Make Me Feel) Like A Natural Man’. Classic Rod then, less polished but way more interesting.